Free Google Keywords Planner Walkthrough

Google Keywords Planner

  • Search for “Google AdWords”
  • Select Start Now when prompted
  • You’ll get to a screen that asks “What’s your main advertising goal?” – At this point, you can opt to create an account and pay for the actual ad, OR, you can scroll to the bottom and select “Switch to Expert Mode”
  • You’ll unlock the Google Ads campaign screen and you can do all kinds of things from there, but for today’s discussion you’ll want to select the small link beneath the main options once again, “Create an account without a campaign”
  • You’ll be asked to confirm your business information and should hit submit. Worry not, no credit cards will be asked for.
  • Click Explore Your Account
  • Select the Tools/Settings and Switch to Expert Mode. This allows you to continue without making a paid account.
  • The Keyword Planner is also located in the Tools menu.

How to Use Google Keywords Planner

  • You have two choices when beginning the Keywords Planner. Find keywords or Get search volume and forecasts. Both paths lead to the Keyword Plan, but they will be a teensy bit different.
    • Find Keywords: This is where you should look to get an idea of what keywords you should be picking for your website.
      • Enter the products or services related to your business or website when prompted, along with your URL.
      • Depending on the items you entered, you’ll get a general report showing you the average monthly searches, competition rate, prices to get to the top of the SERP’s (search engine results page) and some suggestions on other keywords.

Fiddle around with these suggestions as much as you like, and when you have the list of words you want to use, move to the search volume and forecasts.

  • Get search volume and forecasts: If you already have your list of keywords to research results on, you can come straight here. If you’ve used this after the “Find Keywords” tool, that’s fine too. This is where you get reports and stats.
    • Here you add all your desired keywords to get an idea of how well your ad would do with such keywords attached.
    • You’ll see how much it will cost per click, how many clicks you could get, projections for impressions (how many times your digital ad appears on a web user’s screen), and CTRs (click through rates: measures how many clicks your advertisements get based on the impressions).
    • If you’re just trying to find the best AdWords to use, you’ll also want to click on the Historical Metrics tab. This shows you the range of searches from the last year.

Now if you’re like me, you’ll see these ranges of 1K-10K or 10K-100K and be very very annoyed. That doesn’t tell you much does it? For example, one of my keywords was content. Why? I produce it! Well that range was 100K-1M. Well which is it? There’s a 900,000 difference! You can find other programs out there that will give you exact numbers (or at least closer), but they won’t be free.

Another way to get ideas for your keywords is to check out your competitors. Now, you don’t want to do this for your content, as that’s a cheap way to steal, but definitely look at their keywords. They may have a better insight to your niche than you do. Especially if you’re like me these days and trying to find those free tools that don’t really exist. Do some research into your area or your products. Maybe there’s something you’re missing altogether. Maybe you’re just advertising the wrong way. Are you aiming your keywords too broad or too narrow? It will all depend on your niche and your audience, so you’ll need to know those too.

As always, if you have any questions, leave a comment. Want to have a more detailed discussion? Check out the contact form and drop me a line!

What Is Website Traffic?

What is website traffic?

By definition, website traffic refers to the people that go to a website. This traffic is measured in “visits” and tallies how many times a page on your website is loaded. Yes, this counts refreshed pages as well.

How is the traffic determined?

When you go to a website, your device connects to the website’s server. Each website has multiple pages, and those pages have different elements, which are made up by files. Each time you load a page online, all the files saved in that layout have to be sent from the server to your device and are counted as “hits”. So, while you’re getting one view for the page, you could be getting 10+ hits depending on how much your page displays. Text boxes, images, your fonts and color themes, all count towards the individual files saved on your server; which are all monitored constantly to give you the totals you can find on your website maintenance page.

The server also saves the numbers for web page requests known as “visits” or “sessions”, which lets you know how each of your pages or posts are performing. You as the website owner can then determine the key factors that are getting your site the most attention.

Is web traffic the only thing that is measured?

To put it simply, no. There are many things that measure the pieces of your site. It’s always great to see those high numbers next to visitors or views, but the things that happen after that are far more important to measure.

  • How long did the user stay? Can you really claim to be successful because you have high numbers next to your visitors and views if they didn’t stay long enough to read anything? One of the things measured on your website is called “bounce rate”. This is when a user clicks on your site or a page but leaves again after only a few seconds.
  • Do you have a store on your website? How many of your visitors actually made a purchase? Ecommerce sites need a large audience, as you can’t expect every single visitor to make a purchase, but the number of completed purchases is what you need to monitor. This metric is called “conversation rate”.
  • One of the other most important things to keep track of is your social media metrics. These vary in title and purpose depending on your website. Likes, shares, and comments are all counted in this section. The interaction is very flattering to anyone creating their own content, but it’s also very needed to anyone running a business online. This type of interaction affects the visibility of your website.

So, take a look at your stats. What is doing well? What is doing poorly? If there’s anything that needs to be cut or updated, make the necessary changes. Repurpose anything that you can, update anything that is older, and delete anything that is performing poorly to make room for new content.

If you have questions, leave a comment. I can help you out. More detailed questions? Check out the form on the Contact page.

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